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Celtic Connections launches 20th anniversary festival

By Natalie Deans

Vicente Amigo, John McCusker and Michael McGoldrick play on the steps of Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Vicente Amigo, John McCusker and Michael McGoldrick play on the steps of Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

The sound of folk music filled the air of Buchanan Street in Glasgow on Thursday as Celtic Connections Festival celebrates its 20 year anniversary launch.

Flamenco guitarist Vicente Amigo and Celtic musicians John McCusker, Michael McGoldrick and Ewen Vernal took to the steps of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to launch the festival, and their Latin/Celtic collaboration, ahead of the opening Celtic Connections concert.

Donald Shaw, artistic director of the festival, says: “Every year we explore the connections between Celtic music and other musical genres, as well as with cultures across the globe. This year the programme is the most diverse yet.”

Other acts featuring in the festival this year include African rappers Baloji and Lek Sen and Galician/Gaelic collaboration Uxia and Cruinn.

“Many artists performing over the next 18 days have been involved in the festival for a number of years but there is also an array of fresh talent being showcased,” says Shaw.

Celtic Connections bus on Buchanan Street

Celtic Connections bus on Buchanan Street

The Scottish music festival runs from January 17th until February 3rd and features Celtic, blues and jazz artists from across the globe.

Although originally just a way of filling the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s January schedule the festival was thought to be a passing phase. After 20 years Celtic Connections is still going strong and has grown into one of the largest winter festivals in the world.

As well as a mixture of world music the festival hosts a range of seminars, lessons, readings and chats on all things Celtic at locations throughout Glasgow – including the Mitchell Library, Glasgow City Hall, and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Vicente Amigo, Michael McGoldrick, Ewen Vernal and John McCusker live in studio playing their Latin/Celtic collaboration, Tierra.

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